Slovenia: Country and Foreign Investment
Slovenia is a Central European country, with a total land area of 20,273 sq km and an Adriatic coastline of only 46.6 km. Slovenia shares borders with four other countries: Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. The population is around 1.996m. The official language is Slovenian.
The President is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; the current President is Borut Pahor, who assumed office on December 22, 2012.
Slovenia benefits from an excellent infrastructure and a well-educated workforce, and is strategically located between the Balkans and Western Europe. Sectors include chemicals, textiles, food products, metal products and transportation equipment. Koper is an important trading port for both Slovenia and landlocked Central European countries. Slovenia’s major trading partners are Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy and Russia.
GDP per head in Slovenia is estimated at USD28,800 for 2011. GDP growth was recorded at a modest 0.6% in 2011, after growth of 1.2% in 2010. It fell in 2009 to around -7.8%, compared to 3.5% in 2008 and 6.8% in 2007. The currency is the Euro (EUR). The central bank is the Bank of Slovenia, which was established in 1991. Real estate in Slovenia has suffered from the global recession, with prices falling since 2007.
Koper, Slovenia’s large freight port, was established in 1957 and lies on the shortest transport route linking commercial centres in Central and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and countries along the Suez Canal. The port is currently undergoing expansion with the construction of a third pier. The rail network is well developed, with good links to neighbouring countries.
Businesses are generally taxed at 17% (18% in 2012), although companies operating in Special Economic Zones and in the Koper Free Trade Zone benefit from reduced corporate income tax and other tax incentives, subject to conditions. Investment and pensions funds and venture capital companies can benefit from a special corporate income tax rate of 0%, again subject to certain conditions. Foreign companies may apply for financial assistance in the form of grants by way of the FDI Cost-sharing Grant Scheme.